Are you ever frustrated that your toilet just doesn’t work like it should? Are you constantly facing clogged toilets? Do you ever wonder why something like a toilet would work so poorly in the 21st century with our advanced technologies?
The lack of properly working toilets is not due to a lack of innovation in the toilet industry. It is due to us living in something of a nanny state.
There is virtually nothing in our world today where the government does not interfere. This includes our trips to the toilet.
In 1992, George H. W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act into law. Part of this law mandated that new toilets meet a standard maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush. This ushered in the era of low-flush toilets.
The law went into effect on January 1, 1994 for residential buildings and January 1, 1997 for commercial buildings.
Just as with Obamacare, the federal mandate followed a similar law in Massachusetts that had passed a few years earlier.
If you live in a house with toilets from 1994 or later, then you probably understand the problem here. My kids have even been capable of clogging the toilets, and that it without shoving huge wads of toilet paper in there.
So if you want to blame anyone for your lack of properly working toilets, you can point the finger to George H. W. Bush and the 1992 Congress. Of course, any Congress and president could have easily repealed this since that time, but they have failed to do so.
One thing that libertarians quickly realize about government laws is that they almost never fulfill their stated objectives. In fact, it is typical for laws, especially at the federal level, to accomplish the exact opposite of their stated purposes.
You can see this all around. The government wages a war on poverty, and they end up creating more poverty. They wage a war on drugs and now you have drug dealers pushing drugs on kids in school. The government passes laws to make healthcare more affordable (the “Affordable” Care Act), only to make it more expensive. The government subsidizes student loans to make college more affordable, which ends up making it more expensive. The list goes on and on.
With the implementation of low-flush toilets, this is no exception. Not only do your toilets not work, but the objectives of the law aren’t met either. In fact, you end up with the opposite.
It was reported in 2011 that San Francisco’s sewers were backed up with waste sludge because of the low volume of water. Then the city reportedly used chlorine bleach in the sewers, which then causes its own set of environmental issues.
Of course, the stated objective of the low-flush toilets was to save water. For the more cynical, the actual objective was for politicians and bureaucrats to have more control over your life.
Congress ignores economics and supply and demand. Water does cost money, which means that people pay more if they use more, at least typically. This is an incentive for people to use less water. If it were simply a matter of buying a toilet that saved water, then the marketplace would fulfill this demand.
However, this law in many ways accomplishes the exact opposite of its stated purpose. When you have to flush before using toilet paper just to make sure it doesn’t clog, then the double or triple flush really defeats the whole purpose of using less water per flush.
It gets even worse if the toilet clogs. What happens when you have to flush it several times to plunge it, or to hope everything goes down? And then you may have to flush it a couple of more times to clean it. If you end up flushing the toilet six times, it sure does defeat the purpose of the low-flush toilet. You may end up actually using more water as a result. It is just one more example of a law doing the exact opposite of its stated purpose.
This legislation, like so much other, needs to be flushed down a toilet, and a strong one at that.
The next time you are griping about your toilets not working well, just think of Congress. Whenever you think of sewer waste, Congress should come straight to your mind.